Stove top VS washing machine for silk
  • I am dyeing 4 yards of 19mm silk with Jacquard acid dye Navy and I am trying to decide between the stove top method and washing machine. I am new to dyeing so I'm not sure how much water I'll need for this much fabric to flow freely so I am worried I wont be able to find a pot big enough for the stove top method but I'm worried using a washing machine won't be hot enough to achieve the depth of color I am looking for. Experienced dyers, what method would you use for this amount of fabric and how many gallons of water do you think it will take?
  • Hi Cass,

    Thanks for writing in.
    I generally choose to use the stove top method of dyeing as it affords much more control over the process than using the machine and particularly with Acid Dye as the heat does make a difference.
    You don't mention what sort of silk you have - and while the mm weight does help, different weaves at the same weight do have more bulk than others. If you are working with something like Habotai a five gallon (21 quart) canning pot should be sufficiently large to hold the amount of fabric you have without having to fill the pot much more than 2/3rds full. I've found several of these at second hand stores and yard sales for less than $5.
    The biggest issue will be ensuring that you stir & rearrange the fabric through the entire dye process in order to avoid uneven dyeing.
    Hope this helps!
  • Thank you very much, it is silk charmeuse, dry weight of 1.06 lbs. If that should be able to flow in a large pot I will definitely go for it, I would much prefer to use the stove top method!
  • okay, the charmeuse has a bit more bulk than the Habotai but you should be fine. I'd guess you will need a bit more water. Checking the stir-ability of the fabric before you add any dye to the pot will give you a good idea of how much water to use.

    have fun!